Fiona grew up in a small town surrounded by pastures of rice fields, decorated by the morning dew. As the sun rose from the east, a million dotted little reflections glowed, giving it that golden glaze over something that never once were.
Fiona always woke up at the same time. 5:37AM to be exact. Because, no matter how early the night fell, how late the seasons ran, that rooster by her door, always cockled at five-thirty-seven. No matter how much Fiona felt like sleeping in, she always felt too obligated to not oblige. After all, it’s the rooster’s consistency that brought her a sense of routine. There’s a sense of fondness & familiarity tied towards those obligations.
So everyday, Fiona woke up at exactly 5:37AM. She unfolds layers of blankets caressing her body, gives it that slightly lazy yawn before standing up fully. Then as routine as it seems, she arches her back, almost tipping herself over. It was her secrete wish that she could fall back into that distant adventure, transporting her away. At that 41 degrees precisely, aka the tipping point, reality snaps back in. She steps herself into her flip flops before stepping outside to feed, Petty, her dutiful alarm clock.
Petty is not an appropriate name for most roosters, but it was appropriate for him. Petty had a petty little beak that prevented him from catching even the tinniest worm. Petty was genetically disposed to eat grain forever. Perhaps due to its unusual vegan diet, Petty woke up at 5:34AM everyday. His routine is quite simple: wake, shake, and cockle at 5:37AM.
Fiona fed Petty left over rice from last night. Once in a while, if she left like it, she would throw in some chopped up tofu. It was hard to get hearty protein around here, let alone share it with a rooster with a petty little beak.
Up until this point, Fiona was still in her long sleeve t-shirt and a pair of shorts her grandmother purchased for her in the City. They were her favourite PJs, her only PJs. They smelled like her. Just like everything else around her, they gave her a sense of familiarity & comfort. She takes a shower. It was lukewarm, because the sun had just be out early enough to heat up that roof-top rain catcher that supplied her cleansing ritual. She constructed a shower head from lotus pods and hollowed bamboo rafts. It was ingenious. Three lotus pods distributed water with perfect coverage from a centralized bamboo stem. Grandma would have been proud.